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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  September 3, 2018 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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you ♪ ♪ i'll fight, stand and defend you ♪ ♪ take your time, take your time ♪ good evening. a full holiday night including a new attack by the president on his own attorney general and critics say on the rule of law. one republican lawmaker using the words banana republic in his criticism. that's just ahead. we begin with breaking news on the tropical storm that is expected to become a hurricane, hurricane gordon when it hits the gulf coast. louisiana's governor has just declared a state of emergency, activated the national guard. we've also just gotten new information on the storm. our meteorologist tom sater joins us now with the latest. so this could very well strengthen into a hurricane and new advisories just in. what's the latest? >> the latest is just moments ago, they have dropped the
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warnings for south florida, anderson, which is good news, which means the system is moving northward now. the center is about 95 miles just to the west of ft. myers, which has been inundated with heavy rainfall. the pressure has been dropping, which means it's getting stronger, and the winds have kicked up from 50 miles an hour to 60. it needs to get to 74 to be declared a hurricane. the question is how much time and space does it have to generate that strength. and it does look like it has this. it's moving at a pretty good clip. you can see the warnings are from near new orleans to the east to the border of florida and alabama. we're still looking at a landfall roughly 10:00 p.m. or 11:00 p.m. tomorrow night as a category 1 hurricane. >> and what about the possibility of storm surge? >> well, the storm surge is probably the biggest threat with this, because such a vulnerable area. but we may have an area of 3 to 5 feet. now that's significant. now, it does not include downtown new orleans where there are voluntary evacuations, but it does include areas of gulfport, biloxi, bay saint
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louis could be a problem, all the way over to pascagoula with 3 to 5 feet. but don't forget about the parishes of louisiana. it does not take much to inundate them. even around plaquemines parish, 2 to 4 could be affected. more from around slidell eastward towards pascagoula again. >> when is it expected to make landfall in the gulf, in the gulf coast? >> i think around 10:00 or 11:00. give or take an hour. this thing has been moving fast, about 17 miles per hour. and that's actually a good thing. >> you're talk about tomorrow night, obviously? >> tomorrow night. yes. thank you for making that clarification. but the tropical storm-force winds are broad enough we could have some other threats, and obviously that could be not just power outages, downed trees and things of that nature, but because it is moving faster, we should keep the rain totals done a little bit, anderson. >> i saw reporting of a possibility of a few isolated
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tornados. >> yeah, good question. i want to make sure everyone understands. the strength and magnitude, it doesn't have to be a category 3 or 4. tropical depressions spawn tornadoes, and it's not just at landfall. it's these outer bands. i think we could have tornadoes from the panhandle of florida, southern georgia is possible, south central areas of alabama, mississippi, even up towards arkansas. again, it doesn't have to be a large storm. again, those feeder bands and the instability in the atmosphere are definitely with the storm. it's the first one to really affect the lower 48 this year. so everyone's heart gets pumped up a little bit. this is a little surprise. it wasn't even declared a tropical depression. it went right to tropical storm status early this morning, and it does look like it will intensify to a category 1 hurricane landfall tomorrow night. >> all right. we're going to follow it throughout the hour, bring up any updates as warranted. thank you very much. president trump today did something striking, and really without precedent in the white house, this white house or any white house until now. he signaled in plain english that he believes the criminal justice system should not be
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impartial or apolitical, but instead should work for him and his party, which sounds completely outlandish until you actually read what he tweeted this afternoon. i'm quoting. two long running obama era investigations of two popular republican congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge just ahead of the midterms by the jeff session justice department. two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. good job, jeff. by jeff, he means the honorable attorney general of the united states. a minor detail, his attorney general, by the way. and keeping him honest, the two investigations were actually begun during his own administration, not the previous one. the congressmen he is talking about are chris collins of new york and duncan hunter of california, and they were more than fellow republicans and political allies, they were also the first two sitting house members to support mr. trump's candidacy. keeping them honest, the president with that tweet not only interfered in two active prosecutions, he flat-out admitted he was doing it out of partisan political motives. there is really no interpretation needed.
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he just says so. two easy wins now in doubt because there's not enough time. it is not clear whether he thinks they shouldn't have been indicted at all, or shouldn't be indicted before the voters could reelect them. they are serious charges. in the case of congressman collins, alleged insider trading. duncan hunter and his wife, wire fraud, falsifying records, campaign finance violations, conspiracy to convert campaign funds to personal use. now you might be saying maybe the president just thinks they shouldn't have been indicted before the election because it's wrong to level serious allegations against anyone so close to election day. keeping them honest, he seems to have another standard for democrats, or at least one democrat in particular. >> hillary clinton is being protected by a totally rigged system. and now it's up to the american people to deliver justice at the ballot box tomorrow. that's what's going to happen.
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>> that was donald trump just a day before the election arguing that it was wrong, totally rigged for the justice department not to pursue charges against candidate so close to the vote. he still clearly believes that. quoting attorney joseph digenova, he recently tweeted, quote, hillary clinton clearly got a pass by the fbi. when lengthy investigations uncovered serious alleged law breaking by congressman collins and hunter, it was suddenly wrong to charge them. here is what the president said about hillary clinton as early as last thursday. >> let's see what she gets away with. let's see. >> well, if you're thinking there is a double standard at play here, you're not alone. just ask republican senator ben
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sasse who put out a statement that reads the united states is not some banana republic with a two-tiered system of justice, one for the majority party and one for the minority party. aside from senator sasse, there has been mostly silence from republicans. jeff zeleny joins us from the white house. attacks on sessions have become routine for the president, but this certainly seems to go even a step further than normal. >> anderson, it went much further than normal. one, it was not about the russia investigation which has become a bit routine, as you said. but this is the way it was different. in one respect, the president was commenting directly on an open investigation, a case that has really just been filed. the indictments were handed down earlier this summer. very unusual for the chief executive, the president to be weighing in on that. two, he was essentially urging his attorney general or scolding him for not weighing in for political purposes by sort of giving special treatment to republicans so essentially saying they're above the law. and three, he was also essentially saying he is afraid
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that these republicans now are going to lose their seat. one undercurrent here at the white house as we sort of head beyond labor day is republicans losing control of the house. republicans losing control of congress. the president thinking a lot about that. so building all of that into his frustration here today. >> i would comment on specific cases while suggesting the justice department should overlook allegations for political reasons. again, it may seem normal but it's completely not normal for the presidents to do that. what has been the response from the gop? >> well, anderson, it's labor day, so most republicans are not here. they'll be coming back to capitol hill tomorrow. but it was quite striking how silent republicans were. perhaps not surprising, but striking nonetheless. but it was nebraska's republican senator ben sasse who also had some other things to say. he was weighing in on this just a short time ago earlier this evening he feel also says this. he said, "these two men have been charged with crimes because of evidence, not because who have the president was when the
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investigations began." now speaker paul ryan was a bit more tepid in his response. he said the doj should be apolitical, did not go much beyond that. anderson, i was struck as the words from the mccain funeral are still reverberating around washington, there is about the rule of law. this i suspect would have been something that senator john mccain would have weighed in on about the rule of law. so certainly the silence from other senators, republicans and house members about this was striking here tonight. >> we'll see if there is any tomorrow. but wouldn't hold my breath. jeff zeleny, thank you very much. reactions as well tonight from acting attorney general sally yates. she tweeted, "repeatedly trying to pervert doj into a weapon to go after his adversaries and now shamelessly complaining the department of justice should protect his political allies to maintain his majority in the midterms is nothing short of an all-out assault on the rule of law." former republican congressman charlie dent joins me.
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cnn legal analyst and former justice department legal counsel carrie cordero. norm eisen, former ambassador of the czech republic and author of the book "the last palace: europe's turbulent century in five lives and one legendary house." congressman dent, you heard sally yates calling the president's tweet nothing short of an all out assault on the rule of law. is she right? >> yes, sally yates and ben sasse have it exactly right. it's outrageous that the president thinks the justice department should only go after, prosecute their political enemies and lay off their allies. i'd like to point something else out too, anderson. you remember jesse jackson jr., corrine brown, michael brown, chaka fattah, all were investigated under the obama administration and convicted. in fact corrine brown was sentenced during the trump administration. nobody suggested it was partisan investigation. these investigations were based on the facts and the evidence.
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and likewise with chris collins and duncan hunter. they're entitled to the presumption of innocence. let the doj make their case. the president is doing a terrible disservice to the men and women of the justice department, the fbi and especially to jeff sessions and christopher ray. is basically saying these guys are politically motived in their work and i don't believe they are in these cases. >> frankly, there are a few others in the administration who have executed the president's agenda as effectively, whether you agree with it or not as jeff sessions. >> i agree. look, yes, jeff sessions is an appointee of donald trump and is working to advance his agenda on a number of issues, immigration and others. but when it comes to dispensing justice in these criminal matter, i believe he is trying to behave appropriately and professionally in all cases. and for the president to call him out is really beyond the pale. this is what happens in autocratic governments and banana republics as sasse said. >> carrie, trump ran on being the law and order candidate
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during the campaign. you said you believed then that candidate trump had the intent to potentially improperly influence judicial or prosecutorial matters. it sure seems that's what's happening here. >> anderson, i'm not the least bit surprised about what he tweeted today. this is what he campaigned on. he campaigned on, in part, using the instruments of the justice department for political retribution against his political opponents. he was consistent about this throughout the campaign, and here we are two years later, and he is still saying the same thing. if he could, he would use the justice department and prosecutorial powers to engage in political retribution and to pervert the system of justice. his current nominees who are in place, attorney general sessions, deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, his own fbi nominee director chris wray, they have held this off. they have run the justice department the way that it's
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supposed to be run, insulating the career lawyers and the prosecutors from political influence of the president. but he's doing this out in public, and he has an intent, i have thought throughout his presidency going back to the campaign to be able to influence the justice department in a way that's completely inappropriate and that contravenes the rule of law. it's unamerican what he wants to do. but he doesn't care. he hasn't learned over the last couple of years, and so he continues on this tack. and really, the question is when are other members of congress, republicans in particular going to say that this is not only not okay, but that they are opposed to his firing attorney general sessions or rod rosenstein. >> you know, ambassador eisen, earlier when i was talking to jeff zeleny, i said it's normal for him to attack the attorney general. it's not normal in any other time, but it has become normalized for him to do that. but to carrie's point, this does seem, you know, several steps
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farther than that. >> anderson, it is. he is escalating the pressure. it's something that i write about in my book. this is straight out of the autocrat's tool kit. and the attacks that we see, the first thing that autocrats do, and we've seen some far worse ones in the past century, the first thing they try to do is seize the levers of law enforcement and turn them against their political enemies, because that's one of the most -- the most powerful domestic weapon they have. also, not to be minimized, he is feeling the heat from multiple investigations closing in. and this is not just about these two early allies of his. it's also about him. he wants to delegitimize the whole system because another thing i write about, democracy is more powerful than this autocracy, anderson. and it's coming for donald trump, so he is pushing back.
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>> you really believe that, though, that the institutions are stronger or strong enough to resist this kind of thing from the president of the united states? >> i do, anderson. i spent the past four years living with five people who were involved in those fights over the course of a century, all of whom lived in my house where i was ambassador. and in every case, sooner or later, every dog gets his day. and sooner or later, democracy is more powerful, including because of the rule of law. and we're seeing that with donald trump, the extraordinary moment that manafort and cohen being brought to justice simultaneously, the coming obstruction report. there is going to be powerful evidence that the president obstructed justice. and then the conspiracy issues around his campaign with reports that his long-time confidante roger stone, maybe even his own son may be in jeopardy, that is all pointing to him. and now, anderson, he is looking at house of representatives that is going to investigate him as well.
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>> well, congressman dent, do you have the same confidence in institutions that ambassador eisen does? there has been very little reaction from republicans in congress. >> well, anderson, i do have confidence in the strength of our institutions. it's -- we should be very proud of that in this country. but they are taking a beating right now, these institutions, and there is another issue here that we should discuss. i'm sitting near the city of philadelphia. two mayors in this region, the mayor of allentown and the mayor of redding, both democrats, have been convicted, one just a few days ago and the other a few months ago. both democrats are appealing. they might say in their appeal, the doj, these are politically motivated prosecutions when in fact they were not politically motivated. the investigations began under obama. they completed them under the trump administration. and so i think the president is going to create problems for cases that are pending. i'm not a lawyer, but i can hear the appeals right now that they're going to say this
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justice department is politicized. and in this case, it's two democrats who are convicted based on the weight of the evidence. so i do have confidence in our institutions, but as i said, they're taking a pounding right now. >> carrie, what impact does this have on whether it's the attorney general or other people, the department of justice. what kind of affect does it have? >> well, on a day-to-day basis, the prosecutors who are in the u.s. attorney's office and those supporting them at main justice, it's not going to affect them. they're going to continue to go about their job, they're going to tune him out and continue to work with the fbi and other investigators and bring the cases that they deem to meet the standards of prosecutorial discretion. in other words, if they think that's it appropriate under attorney general guidelines to bring a case, then that's what they're going to do. but it is up to the current u.s. attorneys who are political appointees and were confirmed, and to the leadership of the justice department to continue to insulate the career officials and the career prosecutors and lawyers so that they can continue to do their job.
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and that's why it's important politically for the leadership to be protected and for members of congress to speak out so that the president does not lay on the leadership more in a way that removes them from office. >> carrie cordero, ambassador eisen, congressman dent. thank you very much. again, the book is "the last palace: europe's turbulent century in five lives and one legendary house." coming up next what we're learning about democratic plans to oppose the president's supreme court nominee who begins confirmation hearings tomorrow. later, the murdered woman that president trump has turned into a martyr in his fight over illegal immigration. now mollie tibbetts' father is speaking out, and what he is telling the president and the public is making headlines. keep those shrimp comin'!
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more reaction tonight to the
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presidents tweets sessions and the justice department's decision to prosecute two allegedly corrupt congressmen, chris collins and duncan hunter. preet bharara tweeting this, by the way, is next level crazy, inappropriate, unethical, stupid, incriminating. with that as the backdrop, senate confirmation hearing again tomorrow for president trump's second supreme court nominee, brett kavanaugh. however, lawmakers will not have all the information some might like to have about his record. that's because of a last-minute white house decision to hold back documents. they were withholding more than 100,000 pages of his record. senate minority leader chuck schumer now says they've released another 42,000. we're also learning tonight about the democrats' plan to attack him. cnn supreme court analyst joins us now with more. the documents being held are from kavanaugh's time in the white house counsel's office under george w. bush. what more do we know about them? >> let me tell you this, anderson. there are several categories of
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documents all of which are being withheld in one way or another. brett kavanaugh worked for president brush as white house counsel lawyer and as staff secretary. first of all, senate judiciary committee chairman chuck grassley has withheld all the staff secretary documents. those are from 2003 to 2006. and that is when brett kavanaugh was right at the side of president bush during katrina, during supreme court appointments, during lots of fallout from the 9/11 policies. and then the ones you're talking about now, the 100,000 pages withheld are from his white house counsel years where he wasn't even that close in with the president, but they're asserting that based on broad privileges, they're going to withhold them. and i just have to say, anderson, that jean-roberts had a similar job in the white house counsel's office for ronald reagan. and in 2005, many, many, many of his documents were released. he had to answer for what he
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wrote as a white house counsel lawyer, and he somehow survived it. so it's a real hole in the record of brett kavanaugh here. >> obviously, senate democrats have been quick to complain about this. chuck schumer is saying all the makings of a cover-up. is that just politics? or to your point earlier about roberts, how unusual is this? >> you know, doesn't it sound like politics for how polarized we are right now? but it actually is more than that. it's a real hole in the public's understanding of brett kavanaugh, because he himself has talked about how formative those years were for him, not just as an individual, but toward his legal thinking. he's talked about that. and i have to say of the documents that have been released, we've done a pretty extensive review of them. and even those are so slight. they're only a small fraction. tens of thousands of documents
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that have been released originated with brett kavanaugh. there are mass circulations of news clips, of talking points, of schedules. so it's very hard to get any kind of new picture of this nominee. >> so just looking ahead to the nomination to the hearings which obviously begin tomorrow, manu raju has some reporting on how democrats plan to push him on issues. doesn't seem to be setting up to be a sail-through nomination. >> well, i think the sheer numbers, though, will make it a sail-through in the end. i think the democrats are going to ask some tough questions, as manu has reported. they're going to focus on whether he was fully truthful back when he was up for the d.c. circuit nomination. i think they'll hit him hard on some questions of discrepancies in his testimony. they're going to really probe on his thoughts about the affordable care act, because that really matters to senators, and it matters to the american public. they'll also ask obviously about roe v. wade which is such a perennial.
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but more important this time around, anderson, because brett kavanaugh would secede anthony kennedy who was the swing vote to uphold abortion rights. >> it's fascinating. we'll be watching tomorrow. joan, thank you very much. appreciate it. more now on the man who will taking the seats tomorrow for the hearings if confirmed. randi kaye tonight has a look at his life. >> i am deeply honored to be nominated to fill his seat on the supreme court. >> reporter: judge brett kavanaugh, now hoping to occupy the seat of a man he once clerked for, justice anthony kennedy. kavanaugh has been on the d.c. circuit court of appeals since 2006 and spoke of kennedy during that confirmation process. >> he conveyed to his clerks and certainly conveyed to me to use one of his favorite phrases the essential neutrality of the law.
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>> reporter: kavanaugh spent years working for independent counsel kenneth starr, helping investigate president bill clinton's affair with monica lewinsky. "the new york times" says kavanaugh urged prosecutors then to question the president about oral sex and masturbation. kavanaugh also helped outline grounds for president clinton's impeachment. later in 2009 kavanaugh wrote "the nation's chief executive should be exempt from time consuming and distracting lawsuits and investigations." some have interpreted this as opposition to the indictment of a sitting president. cnn has learned that the trump white house was aware of these comments during the vetting process. on health care and abortion, kavanaugh has already made controversial decisions. last year he sided with the trump administration to block an abortion for a pregnant immigrant teenager in federal custody. noting the government's permissible interest in favoring fetal life. he has never expressed outright opposition to roe v. wade, but during his confirmation process in 2006 was hardly forthcoming in his personal views.
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>> do you consider roe v. wade to be an abomination? >> senator, on the question of roe v. wade, if confirmed to the d.c. circuit, i would follow roe v. wade faithfully and fully that would be binding precedent on the court. it's been decided by the supreme court. >> i ask you your own opinion. >> and i'm saying if i were confirmed to the d.c. circuit, senator, i would follow it. it's been reaffirmed many times. including in planned parenthood -- >> i understand. but what is your opinion? you're not on the bench yet. you've talked about these issues in the past to other people i'm sure. >> the supreme court has held repeatedly, senator. >> okay. not going to answer the question. >> reporter: more recently, kavanaugh raised eyebrows when "the post" reported he racked up $60,000 to $200,000 in credit
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card debt, buying baseball tickets and taking on a loan. "the washington post" reported his debt exceeded the value of his bank accounts and investments. a white house spokesman told the paper that kavanaugh had bought nationals season tickets and play-off tickets for himself and a handful of friends who then reimbursed him. he said the judge has stopped buying season tickets. kavanaugh attended yale university and yale law school, graduating in 1990. in 2001 he met his wife when they were both working for president george w. bush. they have two daughters. he coaches one of his daughter's basketball teams where the players call him coach k. now he's looking for a new title on the highest court in the land. randi kaye, cnn, new york. >> coming up next, the president tweets another complaint about what he calls the rigged witch-hunt, and this time he cites as his source the, quote, failing "new york times." strange labor days indeed. we're going to hear from "the new york times" writer he quoted about what the president actually left out.
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it's labor day, but the president isn't taking a day off from tweeting out half truths or attacks on the press. in a tweet a few hours ago, the president curiously cited as a source one of his favorite targets in "the new york times."
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the times article laid out how the fbi -- the president tweeted the fbi started a major effort to flip putin loyalists from 2014 to 2016. quote, it wasn't about trump. he wasn't even close to a candidate yet. rigged witch-hunt. now that quote was something "new york times" correspondent matthew rosenberg said on cnn, and matthew joins us now. so the president did quote you that this effort started before the president was a candidate. he left out your reporting that things changed by the fall of 2016, right? >> yeah, by the fall of 2016, the fbi showed up on the doorstep of this oligarch and wanted to know about paul manafort who had had a business relationship with this russian, wanted to know if manafort was the link between the trump campaign and the kremlin. you know, the president also sort of misconstrued the larger point here which is that this outreach started in 2014 long before he was cad suggesting allegations of a deep state plot out to get him aren't the case, that it only turned to his
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investigation into his campaign after a totally separate kind of evidence or sources that they had developed. and so he is both misquoted, kind of left out an important part of what i was saying and misconstrued the larger point here. >> right. he is arguing against the whole idea of the rigged witch-hunt, because as you said, the effort to flip the oligarchs as the president said went on before the president was a candidate. so it runs counter to his argument that he has been making. >> exactly. and, you know, the other piece of this is that this effort involved bruce ohr which is the justice department official which has become a favorite of the president to attack. and christopher steele, the former british spy who had compiled the dossier of these allegations against -- about russia and the trump campaign. and, you know, the president has kind of painted them as both functions of this deep state plot, but we now know that their communications in 2014, '15 and '16 were largely about this effort to flip a number of
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russian oligarchs, that it was an fbi-led operation supported by the department of justice. that's why ohr was involved. it was focused on russian organized crime at the beginning. christopher steele was using as an intermediary, he had long dealt with the russian crime. >> you're saying ohr and christopher steele, they had a reason for communication and it began before the president was actually candidate. >> it was a legitimate attempt to create or cultivate sources within a powerful community of people who are close to the russian president, who know a lot about how organized crime works in russia. >> the effort to flip this russian oligarch, it eventually failed? >> it didn't work. we also know that every time the fbi had contact with deripaska, he reported to the kremlin. i think everybody understood this was a pretty low percentage shot in the begin, but it's what one does in law enforcement and
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intelligence. you've got to try and find sources who know about what is going on. those people tend to be the least likely to tell you anything. >> what is bruce ohr's connection to the dossier? >> his connection is that he has known steele since 2007. there is a whole world of kind of people who are focused on russian organized crime, russian intelligence. ohr was among them. ohr's wife nellie was among them. chris steele was among them. over a breakfast in july 2016 in washington, steele was passing through town. they were having breakfast. what we hear is ohr apparently asked hey, what are your working on? he told him about the dossier. they kept in touch about this. i'm hearing this from steele, but they also know that independently of that entire connection, steele was trying to get that dossier into the hands of overs in the fbi, that he had been hired to do this work. what he found he thought was incredibly alarming and that law enforcement needed to see it. and so totally independent of bruce ohr, chris was going through other contacts he had to
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try to get this formally to investigators. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. up next, a blistering pushback from the father of slain college student mollie tibbetts, directed at politicians who he says are using her murder for their agendas. i'm ken jacobus, i'm the owner of good start packaging. we distribute environmentally-friendly packaging for restaurants. and we've grown substantially. so i switched to the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy. and last year, i earned $36,000 in cash back. that's right, $36,000. which i used to offer health insurance to my employees. my unlimited 2% cash back is more than just a perk, it's our healthcare. can i say it? what's in your wallet?
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the father of murdered iowa college student mollie tibbetts has written an emotional op-ed about the death of his daughter. he is once again asking people to keep his daughter out of the immigration debate. he says she would not have wanted it. her murder has become a political talking point because her suspected killer is an undocumented immigrant from mexico. over the weekend mr. tibbetts wrote do not appropriate views that she would find profoundly racist. it's no more a reflection of the hispanic community as white supremacists are of all white people. to suggest otherwise is a lie. mr. tibbetts also said to build bridges, not walls. his op-ed came one day after donald trump, jr. had his own op-ed and pointed blame
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otliberals for ms. tibbetts' death. he wrote the mask is off from the true radical face of the democrats has been exposed. they're seemingly more concerned about protecting their radical open borders agenda than the lives of innocent americans. joining us steve cortes, former trump campaign adviser and kirsten powers, cnn political analyst and "usa today" columnist. steve, let me start with you. clearly, mollie tibbetts' father doesn't want her death to be politicized. is it appropriate for the president and others in the gop to continue using mollie's death for political purposes? or framing it in an immigration debate? >> i think it's appropriate to talk about policies. it is. i certainly won't kick my quarrel with him. he is entitled to grieve and his political views. a group of people who also grieve and have very strong political views, and those are angel parents, the parent of people who like his daughter have been killed by dangerous illegal alien, and they have a very different view. they believe their children would be alive today if our country had the will to enforce our existing laws and to have a
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real border. so people like marianne mendoza. >> but i'm saying should the president -- i understand the president has held press conferences with the parents that you're talking about. should he continue to use mollie tibbetts' name in this example? >> i believe we should continue to talk about the policy. the point here again, it's not specifically mollie tibbetts. >> well, he is talking about mollie tibbetts. >> and she is -- she is an american citizen. and the fact that she is dead at the hands of an illegal alien is a reasonable policy talking point that is a reasonable policy discussion. and even if it doesn't matter, to her father that the killer was here illegally, it matters to a lot of us. to me as a father, it matters a heck of a lot to me because i don't want my daughter killed by an illegal alien who shouldn't be here in the first place, particularly ones who have proved themselves dangerous already and haven't been deported. >> kirsten, does the fact that the man accused of killing her, the fact he is an illegal immigrant or illegal alien,
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should that be part of this debate? >> no. and this is very similar to the debate that happened around kate steinle, who was tragically killed in california. and this is a tragedy, and tragedies happen. but that doesn't mean that you need to demonize an entire group of people because of a tragedy. and i think if you have the father saying please, out of decency, leave us out of this, then you are sort of obligated to leave him out of it. i disagree that just because you're afraid of this happening to your daughter, that it's okay to exploit this girl's death when her family has asked her not to. now, if we look at the statistics, which i think do matter much more than how people feel, the statistics are very clear, which is that undocumented immigrants and legal immigrants commit crimes at much lower rates than the average american. that's from the cato institute, which is a conservative libertarian think tank. there is another study in criminology that found a similar outcome.
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so this isn't really up for debate. this is an old story. we've seen it a million times, demonizing people that are different and saying that whether it's italians or jews, now irish, now it's people from central america and mexico. >> kirsten, nobody is demonizing anybody. i am hispanic. and by the way, the victims are largely, if not majority hispanics when it comes to dangerous illegal aliens like sergeant mendoza, hispanic american who was killed by an illegal alien who already should have been deported because of convicted of a crime. and secondly, i they're all the time, this canard that they commit crimes at a lower rate. well, that might be fine. the point is tragedies happen, you're right. but most tragedies are not preventible. when you talk about an american citizen who decides to do something evil against another american. when you're talking about an illegal alien who doesn't belong here in the first place, that is 100% preventible. so every single crime, even if it's just one is preventible, and it's an outrage. it's why we need a wall. it's why we need an end to
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sanctuary cities, and most of all we need it, kirsten, to protect hispanic americans who bear the brunt of these dangers in our society. it's very easy for a lot of elites to hide because they don't deal day to day with dangerous illegals. you know who do? people with names like cortez and mendoza in los angeles, california. >> are you not an elite, by the way? because your name is cortez. you are an elite? where do you live, washington, d.c.? you work in washington? you're an elite. >> i don't live in washington, d.c. i certainly didn't grow up an elite. i'll tell you that. >> i've seen your cuff links. you're an elite. >> first of all, i'm sorry you think statistics are a canard. that's interesting. but more importantly, if you look at the cities where you have the most undocumented immigrants that happens to be in major urban environments where a lot of so-called elites live and
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actually do interact a lot with people who are undocumented immigrants. new york city, for example, one of the places that has maybe the most undocumented immigrants in the country. and the elites have no problem with them. so i don't understand this idea that you think that somehow elites are not living in cities where there are undocumented immigrants. that's a complete falsehood. >> no. my point is that the victims of illegal immigrant crime overwhelmingly are working class people, largely people of color, not elites who live in generally very safe places, gated communities, a high-rise buildings. >> who lives in a gated community? i literally don't know anyone who lives in gated community. >> really? really? >> who lives in a gated community in manhattan. i'm sorry. >> i didn't say in manhattan, but all over america. my point is working class americans are the ones who deal with the realities. both competition in the workforce and the dangers to their communities. they're the ones who deal with the consequences every day of illegal immigration. the people who like illegal immigration quite frankly are the elites of corporate
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america because they want cheap labor. that has worked very well for them and terribly for the working class masses, which is one of the main reasons that they so clamored to the idea of a wall and enforcement. and one of the reasons they elected donald trump in 2016 is they said enough of what has served that kind of globalism and open borders nonsense has served the elites well. it's been disastrous. >> meanwhile nobody actually supports open borders. if you want to talk about canards, this is the biggest canard of them all. i'm as liberal as you're going to find on immigration, and i don't even support open borders. so the idea that democrats support open borders is just some crazy talking point. >> we're going to have to leave it there. steve cortes, thank you. >> is it really? >> kisten powers as well. >> yeah, it is really. >> appreciate it. in just a few minutes, cnn airs the original film "rbg," a revealing look at the trailblazing life of supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg. i'll speak with the filmmakers next. in the u.s. it's america's most popular street name. but allstate agents know that's where the similarity stops. if you're on park street in reno, nevada,
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supreme court confirmation hearings for judge kavanaugh begin tomorrow. tonight in just a few minutes, a really fascinating look at justice ruth bader ginsburg. the new cnn original film "rbg" takes an intimate look at the justice's personal and professional life. i'm going to speak with the filmmakers in just a minute, but first i want to show you a clip on her friendship with justice scalia. >> even though they had differing points of view, they were dear friends. i'm sure they were picking at each other the whole time, but they kind of enjoyed it. >> justice scalia would whisper something to me. all i could do to avoid laughing out loud, i would sometimes pinch myself. people sometimes ask me, well, what was your favorite scalia joke? and i said, i know what it is, but i can't tell you. >> they enjoyed going to the operas together. they enjoyed discussing particular operas, and of course they appeared together in an opera.
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>> with me now are the directors and producers of "rbg" julie cohen and betsy west. congratulations. this film has gotten amazing reviews. i'm excited that people are going to be able to see it on cnn. >> so are we. >> what was the importance of the relationship she had with scalia? >> well, you know, their friendship really symbolized, i think, a lot. these are two people very much known for ideologically opposite views. >> yeah, completely. >> yet who had just huge respect. and as you saw in the clip, even affection for one another. and, you know, in these divisive times looking at a relationship like that, like i think there's a lot to take away from and feel pretty good about. >> yeah. the relationship also that you talk about in the film of rbg -- i guess i'll call her -- >> she signs her name rgb. >> but the relationship between her and her mom, i mean it was this extraordinary history. >> yeah. her mother had a tremendous influence on her.
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she was -- she came of immigrants, and her mother emphasized learning, reading. and, you know, kind of imparted two lessons to her that she talks about a lot. one is, you know, if you're going to find a man to marry, that's great. but make sure that you can fend for yourself. >> and her mom wasn't able to go to college. >> yeah. >> she became a bookkeeper. >> she has said that the difference between being a bookkeeper and a supreme court justice, one generation in america. >> and only in america would that take place. >> yeah. >> also i mean the justice's relationship with her husband and the sacrifices -- i mean they both made a lot of sacrifices, but the sacrifices he made are particularly interesting given the times that they were made in. >> absolutely. i mean even by today's standards, he was an incredibly progressive feminist kind of a
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husband, supported everything she did. at some points, that meant taking a back seat so that he could be pushing her career forward. >> taking care of child care. >> child care, all the cooking. >> and even they moved to washington really for her career, and he basically got another legal job just so that they could move to washington. >> yes. yeah. people couldn't quite believe it. they would say what's it like commuting back to new york because they couldn't believe marty would have moved to washington so she could be a judge. >> what do you think -- you know, she's become such an icon for so many people, particularly young women. what do you think it is about her that has struck a chord? >> you know, i think there's something about this very tiny, elderly grandmother who speaks her mind and who stands for principles. and what's interesting to us is seeing the audiences. it's across the generations. i mean older women who come out of the film and they know exactly what ruth bader ginsburg was up against as a young woman
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when she faced tremendous discrimination. and then you have like little 7 and 8-year-old girls who come dressed up like ruth bader ginsburg, you know, with a collar, the glasses, and their hair back. they really identify with her. >> and the huge millennial fan base who look at her like literally as a rock star. people lined up for blocks to see her give, you know, a talk at a law school, which is usually about constitutional principle. yet, you know, people waiting at the stage door afterwards wanting to get an autograph. literally everywhere she goes we saw this again and again over the year that we filmed. >> you were telling me before we went on air, she hadn't seen the film until it showed publicly at the sundance film festival. >> yeah. she didn't ask to see it ahead of time, and so when we found out that we were going to sundance, we asked if she'd like to go, and she said yes, she would. and so we sat across the aisle from her as she watched the film, which was -- >> stressful. >> yes, rather nerve-racking.
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she seemed to enjoy it a lot. she laughed and cried, pulled out a tissue a few times. but afterwards, she said she was very happy. >> i can't wait for people to watch this. julie and betsy, thank you so much. really appreciate it. the cnn original film "rbg" starts now. >> announcer: cnn films, "rbg," presented by volkswagen. ♪